Thursday, March 21, 2013


"Beantown" is not just a city. For runners, it is a goal. It's something that motivates thousands to push themselves beyond their limits as they strive to be among the running elite.

The Boston Marathon is the most prestigious marathon in the world. The level of competition is simply unmatched and the historic course draws countless international runners every year.

It's the Super Bowl of running, if you will.

Of course, with such a popular race comes incredibly fast qualifying times. Most runners will never come close to their qualifying times as it takes not only hard work, but God-given talent to run 26.2 miles at such a pace.

Being a 26-year old male, I am among the lucky bunch who would face the toughest qualifying time of 3 hours and 5 minutes. For those of you keeping score at home, that is just a tick over a seven minute mile. For every mile. 26.2 of them.

You heard me right.

In the last four years I've completed over a dozen marathons and have witnessed some incredible runners. I say witnessed because I normally find myself slightly ahead of the middle-of-the-pack guys, usually finishing right around four hours.

I never dreamed of Boston because I didn't think it was possible. Then I had a thought...

Five years ago I never thought I'd run a marathon. I've run 12. After I finished my first marathon, I thought there was no way I could go further. I have, in three ultras. I've learned that the human body is capable of amazing things. Why should I limit myself?

I want to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

There. I said it. I avoided saying those words for four years. I'm giving in.

I want it.

I could surprise myself and reach my goal quickly, but chances are this could be something I chase after my entire life. All I know is one thing...


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Another loop...

Over the years, I have become oddly fascinated with course layouts. I don't study the layouts before a race like some serious runners do, but I find myself thinking about them often while i'm running a race.

I make a left turn to encounter a hill and wonder why on earth they'd put a turn there. Or maybe I look to my left at a beautiful downhill and wonder why we're not taking that road. Worst of all, I loath the race director who forces runners to do laps.

Running a course of any distance multiple times is defeating. You are robbed the thrill of seeing the finish line and instead you are gifted with the helpless feeling of retracing your steps.

I despise the idea of retracing my steps. I prefer to blaze new trails, run new races and to cover new ground.


I will be retracing my steps in my next two races as I take on the Long Beach and LA Marathons in October and next March, respectively.

There will be one major difference. In each race I'll help a "newbie" train for their first marathon finish. I've had the pleasure of helping others train before and I can honestly say the only feeling better than finishing a marathon is helping somebody else finish.

My brother-in-law, Matt, will take on Long Beach this October. I'm excited to run with Matt, but also a little nervous that he will crush me and leave me in his wake. The guy is super athletic, so it is a definite possibility. Maybe he'll invite me to go along with him after he qualifies for Boston?

In March I'll be running alongside my boss, Doug, who is a die-hard Dodger fan. Of course he would pick to run the race that starts at Chavez Ravine. Homer. Anyways, this is a phenomenal race and - assuming there is no repeat of the 2010 hurricane I encountered running with Bill - it should be an amazing time.

I'm anxious to get back into training and excited to share the stories of training with these great guys.